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Review: Solace

Solace
12.12.2016
7 10

PLOT: A psychic helps his old friend at the FBI track down a serial killer 

REVIEW: Sir Anthony Hopkins thrilled audiences with his Academy Award winning performance in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS way back in 1991. And ever since it seems that he takes on the occasional thriller in hopes to recapture that magic. And in many ways, his latest film SOLACE, harkens back to the days of Hannibal Lector, and perhaps a little bit of SE7EN. In fact, the new feature directed by Afonso Poyart borrows heavily from the earlier films with this stylish, but ultimately familiar tale of somebody - this time a psychic - helping track down a serial killer. And while much of it works, there is something less than spectacular in this modern crime fable.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan (playing a good guy this time) plays Joe Merriwether, an FBI agent who is trying to solve the mysterious murders of several seemingly unconnected victims. He is aided by partner Katherine Cowles (Abbie Cornish) as well as a renowned psychic John Clancy (Hopkins). Once convinced to help solve the case, Clancy discovers that the many victims all have something very specific in common. This leads them on a chase to hunt down a killer that is always one step ahead at every turn. Perhaps, this mysterious monster has a connection to one of the investigators, or is it something even more complex?

2016 afonso poyart anthony hopkins colin farrell horror james vanderbilt jeffrey dean morgan mystery peter morgan sean bailey solace ted griffin thriller

As vague as I was in the description of the plot, it won’t take viewers too long to figure out what is happening, and perhaps even why. The script by Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin - with revisions by James Vanderbilt - falls into fairly familiar thriller patters. With that, the killer reveal is much too obvious, and even his motives aren’t terribly shocking. Thankfully though, there are a small handful of surprises that manage to shake things up a bit. One sequence involving the outcome of one of the main characters goes off in a refreshingly unexpected direction, so at least a few chances were taken.

When it comes to the performances, there is a lot to like. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is terrific as usual and Hopkins may be treading familiar territory, but he gives it his best. As for Abbie Cornish, the actress does a fine job as a tough investigator, but at times she felt out of place. I’m not sure I fully believed in her as Cowles, but the actress did have a nice chemistry with both of the leading men. You’ll also find Colin Farrell, who gives a solid show. As well, there are a few other familiar faces including Marley Shelton, Xander Berkeley, Sharon Lawrence and Janine Turner.

2016 afonso poyart anthony hopkins colin farrell horror james vanderbilt jeffrey dean morgan mystery peter morgan sean bailey solace ted griffin thriller

Poyart may be dealing with slightly predictable material, yet he adds a ton of style to the feature. Every so often you will see a quick shot with the focus on a reflection, or a camera trick - like time lapse photography. SOLACE is most assuredly an interesting piece to look at. This is especially true when the physic investigating the case must figure out all the possibilities of a situation. The filmmaker creatively expresses this by using several images of a character drifting through space, yet nearly always coming to the same grim conclusion.

SOLACE has an interesting story that is a tad predictable. Yet the film has a slick visual style, and still manages to provoke suspense during its under two hour running time. It may not be the best example of a crime thriller, but it certainly offers an impressive cast and a few exciting sequences. The best of which includes a car chase that is better than you may prepared for. Why the killer seeks out the specific victims may be quite obvious, but it is still a unique motive. SOLACE may not be the movie you rush out to theatres to see, but it is hard not to at the very least give it a chance, especially if you are a fan of the cast.

Source: JoBlo.com

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